Saturday, 17 November 2018

I used to loathe running but now I'm taking on 20 races

I used to loathe running but now I'm taking on 20 races

A MAN who used to hate running is to take part in 20 races this year for charity.

James Richardson, 22, from Peppard Common, hopes to raise at least £1,000 for Daisy’s Dream, which provides support for children and families affected by bereavement or serious illness.

He will run a total of 200 miles, beginning on Sunday with the Ridge Off Roader 10km near High Wycombe and ending on November 12 with the Grand Union Canal half marathon at Uxbridge.

The races in between will all be in the South apart from a half-marathon at Perth on August 12 and the Great North Run in Newcastle on September 10.

They will include the Henley 10km trail run on May 14, the Chiltern Chase 10km at Ewelme on June 4, the Henley half marathon on October 8 and the Frieth Hilly 10km the following weekend.

Mr Richardson, a self-employed carpenter, who lives with his parents Robert and Alison, disliked running when he was a pupil at the Oratory School in Woodcote.

However, he took it up again last year, running through the countryside near his home and using a fitness app to track his mileage.

He gradually increased his distances until he felt confident enough to enter the Water of Life half marathon in Marlow in October, which he completed in an hour and 45 minutes, quicker than he expected.

Mr Richardson said: “I enjoyed team sports at school but never liked running — I remember always coming last when we ran around the rugby pitches. However, I really caught the bug when I tried again last year. Having an app gave me targets to work towards and improve, so it took off from there. I absolutely loved my first half-marathon and was really proud of my time so I wanted to do it again.

“I started getting more ambitious and in the end I thought 200 miles was a nice round number.”

He trains by running four days a week, reaching distances of up to 12 miles at a time, and spends a fifth day on his exercise bike. Mr Richardson, who has already raised more than £400, said: “It has been quite hard motivating myself to go out running in the dark but I’ve got my little headtorch and a goal to work towards so I’ve just kept at it day by day.

“People have already donated money so I’m committed to seeing it through.

“I know it’s going to be a difficult challenge but at the moment I feel very excited. My friends and family are very proud.

“I could not have imagined doing this when I was younger but it has become a big hobby for me now. I guess it has to be until I’ve finished this, at least!”

To sponsor Mr Richardson, visit

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